Read the Instructions
- Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
- Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to the instructions.
- Click here for a presentation on how to index this project.
- Click here for a video presentation on how to index this project.
- Click here for a summary of project updates.
What Is Unique about This Project
- In this indexing project, some obituaries continue to two or more images. Combine the information from the multiple images, and index all the information in the data entry area for the first image.
- If an obituary continues beyond the last image of the batch:
- In the menu at the top of the screen, click View.
- Click Show Previous or Next Image.
- In the window that appears, click the Next Image button.
- Index the record while viewing both images at the same time. (In this case, ignore the "Do not index from this image" warning.)
- If the first image of the batch is a continuation of a previous obituary, mark the image as No Extractable Data Image. Start indexing the first complete obituary in the batch.
- For each obituary or death notice, you will select a record type: Deceased, Relative of Deceased, or Nonrelative.
- Index the name of the deceased first; then index all the other names, each as a separate record, in the order that they appear on the obituary or death notice.
- If a person’s name appears multiple times on a record, index the name only one time.
- Index the relationship of the relative to the deceased using the most appropriate term from the dropdown list. If the exact term is not on the dropdown list, use the term that is most similar. For example, index:
- Stepchildren, foster children, or adopted children as Son, Daughter, or Child.
- Stepsiblings, foster siblings, or adopted siblings as Brother, Sister, or Sibling.
- Stepparents, foster parents, or adoptive parents as Father, Mother, or Parent.
- Spouses of grandchildren, great-grandchild and their spouses, and step-grandchildren and their spouses as Grandchild, Grandson, or Granddaughter.
- Great-grandparents, step-grandparents, and so on as Grandparent, Grandfather, or Grandmother.
- Do not assume the gender of a relative based on given names; if gender was not clearly indicated in the obituary, either directly or with pronouns or titles or terms, use the corresponding generic term in indexing the relationship. For example, if no gender was indicated in the obituary, you would index Child instead of Son or Daughter, or Parent instead of Mother or Father, or Sibling instead of Brother or Sister.
- When two newspapers were recorded on the same document, you should index the name of both newspapers in the order they appear. Click here for an example.
- Many women were listed with the names of their spouses, along with the title Mrs, for example, Mrs George Johnson.
- In these cases, you would index the name and title fields as follows:
- Given Names: George
- Surname: Johnson
- Titles or Terms: Mrs
- Search the obituary carefully; the actual given names may be listed elsewhere in the obituary and should be indexed if they were listed.
- Do not create additional records for individuals unless they were actually mentioned in the obituary. For example, if an obituary listed Mrs George Johnson as a surviving daughter, you would not index a record for George Johnson himself, unless he was actually mentioned, as in “Mr and Mrs George Johnson.” Or if an obituary says, “Mr. Andrew Stephens and wife,” you would not index a record for the wife unless a name was given for her.
- In this project, if the names of a couple were recorded as “George (Mary) Johnson” or “Mary (George) Johnson,” Johnson should be indexed in the Surname field for both George and Mary. Click here for an example.
- If the surname of an individual was not listed in an obituary, do not assume a surname from the surname of the deceased or of another person in the obituary.
- For this project, often the death date was not included in the actual text of the obituary. The death date was sometimes recorded at the bottom of the obituary, with the death date in parenthesis. The publication date of the newspaper was usually recorded at the top of the column of obituaries. to see an example.
- Index the death date if one was included in the obituary; however, an actual death date was often not recorded.
- If no death date was recorded, index the most recent date from the record. This date is usually the publication date, which was often stamped or written next to the obituary.
- If the death date was referred to, such as “last Sunday” or “on Wednesday,” but not actually given, do not try to calculate or determine the date of death.
- Index the place of death if one was listed in the obituary.
- Do not index street addresses or the names of hospitals in the place fields.
- Do not assume a place of death. For example, if an obituary was printed in the Grand Rapids Press, do not assume that the individual died in Grand Rapids unless the obituary actually indicates that Grand Rapids was the place of death.
- Do not index words of approximation, such as the words “near,” “about,” or “around.” For example, if an obituary states that the deceased died or was born “near Fort Wayne, Indiana,” index Fort Wayne as the town or city and Indiana as the state; do not index the word “near” in any fields.
- If more than one place was indicated, such as “on highway 25 between Oswego and Boulder Hill,” index both places, with a space between the two places. For this example, the place would be indexed as Oswego Boulder Hill.
Number of Records per Image
- If an image has fewer than 11 records, you will need to mark the unused records as blank in the data entry area. (Do not add more entry lines.) To mark a record as blank, select any field in the record, and press Ctrl+Shift+B, or:
- On the menu bar, click Edit.
- Click Mark Field or Record.
- Click Mark Record Blank.
- If an image has more than 11 records, you will need to add entry lines in the data entry area to match the number of records on the image. To add entry lines:
- In the menu bar, click Tools.
- Click Records per Image.
- Click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image.
- Click OK.
How to Index Combination Images
- Sometimes, a single obituary was split between two or more images. In this case:
- Index the obituary once, using data from all images that show the obituary.
- Index all the records in the data entry area for the first image of the obituary.
- View the next image while continuing to index fields for the current image, and index as much information as possible.
- After the obituary is indexed, mark the other image or images of the same obituary as No Extractable Data Image in the Image Type field. The information will have been indexed with the previous image.
- If multiple obituaries or death notices were published about the same person and these obituaries appear on different images, then each of these obituaries should be indexed as separate records.
- If an image contains obituaries for two deceased persons, first index the information in the obituary on the left (or on the top), and then index the information for the obituary on the right (or on the bottom).
- If a single image contains two or more obituaries for the same deceased person, combine the information on them to create one record for the deceased. Then, beginning with the obituary on the left (or top) and continuing to the one on the right (or bottom), index the other names in the order they appear, without duplicating any records.
- Some images in this project are upside down.
- You can rotate an image 90 degrees to the left or right.
- To rotate an image 180 degrees, click the Rotate image right (or left) by 90 degrees icon twice.
- To rotate an image 90 degrees counterclockwise, click the Rotate image left by 90 degrees icon. Note: You can also click the View menu, and click Rotate Left.
- To rotate an image 90 degrees clockwise, click the Rotate image right by 90 degrees icon. Note: You can also click the View menu, and click Rotate Right.
Brightness and Contrast
- To change the brightness of an image, click the View menu, and then click Brightness and Contrast.
- To darken the image, move the Brightness slider to the left of zero; to brighten the image, move the slider to the right of zero.
- To change the contrast, click and drag the Contrast slider to the right.
- To sharpen the image, click the View menu, and then click Sharpen to adjust the slider.
- Many of these records were handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher the handwriting.
- To access this resource, click the Handwriting Help icon (an inkwell with an orange feather quill).